The Croatian deaf men’s handball team secured the gold medal at the World Championship in Denmark, defeating Germany 28-22 in the final. This marks their third consecutive world title, having previously won in 2014 and 2018.
Germany took an early 1-0 lead, but Florijan Kolarić quickly equalized for Croatia. The match remained closely contested, with both teams exchanging goals. In a challenging first half filled with tension on both sides, the Croatian team managed to gain an advantage thanks to their strong outer line, particularly the outstanding performances of Lušić and Jukić. They built a four-goal lead, but Germany closed the gap to two goals, with the halftime score standing at 14-12 in favor of Croatia.
The intensity continued in the second half, with two Croatian representatives, Pero Jukić and Tomislav Bošnjak, receiving three exclusions each, resulting in their expulsion from the game. Oliver Lušić led the Croatian team with eight goals, supported by contributions from Bošnjak, Florijan Kolarić, Ilija Perak, Vučak, Glumac, and Mateo Perak. Goalkeeper Bruno Varšić displayed an exceptional performance, making excellent saves and even scoring two goals himself.
Tomislav Bošnjak finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 44 goals, while Bruno Varšić was named the best goalkeeper. Both players were also selected for the tournament’s All-Star team. Joerg Tomaschewski from Germany was recognized as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
The Croatian deaf men’s handball team is one of the most successful sports teams in the Republic of Croatia, having won a total of eight Olympic medals, including five gold, one silver, and two bronze. They also have five European championship titles, along with one silver and one bronze, in addition to their three World Championship golds.
The Croatian team was represented by Ivica Terzić, Žiga Bedenik, Bruno Varšić (goalkeepers), Antonio Rozić, Ilija Perak, Oliver Lušić, Kristijan Živković, Florijan Kolarić, Tomislav Bošnjak, Pero Jukić, Jakov Kolarić, Leonardo Vučak, Patrik Radić, Teo Glumac, Ivan Pajić, Mateo Perak, Vedran Jakovljević, and Marjan Turković. The coaching staff included coach Mario Sirotić, strength and conditioning coach Jakov Previšić, masseur Marinko Smolčić, physiotherapist Martin Berisha, and team leader Marijo Lušić.
In the match for the third-place, the Serbian team defeated Turkey 29-20, earning the bronze medal.